Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Heartburn Drugs Deemed Safe For Fetuses, According To Researchers

Date:
October 9, 2009
Source:
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Summary:
H2 blocker drugs, such as Famotidine, Cimetidine and Ranitidine, approved in the U.S. for acid reflux, pose no significant risks for the fetus, according to a large collaborative cohort study by researchers in Israel.

H2 Blocker drugs, such as Famotidine, Cimetidine and Ranitidine, approved in the U.S. for acid reflux (heartburn), pose no significant risks for the fetus according to a large collaborative cohort study by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

The study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology provides significant reassurance for the safety of the fetus when H2 blocker drugs are given to women to relieve acid reflux during pregnancy.

H2 blockers are among the most frequently recommended drugs for acid reflux symptoms of heartburn, regurgitation and trouble swallowing, which are common in pregnant women. The findings of a large cohort study examining infants born to mothers who were exposed to H2 blockers, particularly Famotidine, during pregnancy. Usually symptoms of acid reflux are more frequent and more severe in the latter months of gestation. It has been estimated that between 30 percent to 80 percent of pregnant women are affected.

The study was a collaboration between Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Soroka University Medical Center and Clalit Health Services -- all in Beer-Sheva, Israel -- along with the Division of Pharmacology, Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. It was part of the doctoral thesis of Ilan Matok under the supervision of principal investigators epidemiologist Dr. Amalia Levy and pediatrician and clinical pharmacologist professor emeritus Rafael Gorodischer. The study was conducted by the three Israeli entities as part of the BeMORE collaboration (Ben-Gurion MotheRisk Obstetric Registry of Exposure). The investigation of the safety of other medications commonly used off-label in pregnancy is an ongoing project of BeMORE investigators in large cohorts of women in Southern Israel.

"Of the vast majority of medications approved for use, there is insufficient data from human studies to determine whether the benefits of therapy exceed the risk to the fetus," according to the pediatrician and clinical pharmacologist, principal investigator Dr. Rafael Gorodischer, professor emeritus at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. "Medicines are approved for use only after there is sufficient scientific evidence demonstrating the drug safety and effectiveness for its intended uses."

The safety of H2 blockers used during the first trimester of pregnancy was investigated by linking a database of medications dispensed over 10 years to all women registered in Clalit Health Services in the Southern District of Israel, with databases containing maternal and infant hospital records, and with therapeutic abortion records of Soroka University Medical Center, during the same period. In the study, 1,148 (or 1.4 percent) were exposed to H2 blockers during the first trimester of pregnancy of the 84,823 infants born to mothers during the study period.

The rate of major congenital malformations identified in the group that was exposed to H2 blockers during the first trimester was 5.7 percent (65 of 1,148 infants), as compared with a rate of 5.3 percent (4,400 of 83,675 infants) in the unexposed group.

According to principal investigator epidemiologist Dr. Amalia Levy of the BGU Faculty of Health Sciences, and chairwoman of the BeMORE collaboration, "Exposure to H2 blockers among this group was not associated with significantly increased risks of major congenital malformations. The results were unchanged when therapeutic abortions of exposed fetuses were included in the analysis. Also, infants exposed in utero had no increased risk of perinatal mortality, low birth weight or premature birth".


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Matok et al. The Safety of H2-Blockers Use During Pregnancy. The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 2009; DOI: 10.1177/0091270009350483

Cite This Page:

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. "Heartburn Drugs Deemed Safe For Fetuses, According To Researchers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091007103028.htm>.
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. (2009, October 9). Heartburn Drugs Deemed Safe For Fetuses, According To Researchers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091007103028.htm
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. "Heartburn Drugs Deemed Safe For Fetuses, According To Researchers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091007103028.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins